• Dedicated programme of high-profile series is a first for the Arabic channels in the region
• Zee Alwan's series to further build on growing popularity among Arab family audiences
Dubai, UAE; June 18, 2013: The only Arabic channel devoted to the most popular series from the Arab world, Turkey and India, Zee Alwan is positioning itself as the ‘channel of choice' during the Holy Month of Ramadan with a wide array of family-oriented dramas that underline family solidarity and the values of charity, integrity and compassion.
With viewership gaining steady growth since its launch less than a year ago, Zee Alwan has become one of the preferred channels for Arab families to catch up with their favourite series. Building on this, the channel is presenting its most diverse roster of Arabic series during Ramadan that will appeal to family audiences, and particularly to women, who form the largest segment in TV series viewers.
Patrick Samaha, Business Head of Zee's Arabic channels, said: “Over the past months, we have witnessed a significant increase in the viewership of Zee Alwan in our core markets including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the rest of the Middle East region. What is particularly noteworthy is that nearly 90 percent of our viewers have expressed their affinity for our programming mix, indicating that they would return to the channel for catching up with their favourite series, according to our market research.”
He added: “For the Holy Month of Ramadan, we are bringing for the first time in the Arab region dedicated 24-hour series programming that is unmatched for its diversity and narrative excellence. From original series in Arabic to extremely popular shows dubbed from Turkish and Hindi/Urdu, Zee Alwan aims to underline its position as the Ramadan channel of choice.”
According to independent market research, TV viewing spikes during Ramadan across the Middle East and North Africa region. With the highest level of viewership during Iftar and the duration of television viewing increasing through the evening, Zee Alwan has planned a compelling showcase of series for Ramadan.
“In addition to airing the most awaited and new series, Zee Alwan offers viewers the convenience of not having to switch channels to watch their favourite shows, as all the preferred programmes are being aired on our platform,” said Samaha. “This is a never before opportunity for Arab viewers, as they do not have to pay subscription fees to watch their preferred series. Being free-to-air, we also have far higher visibility, enabling us to reach the maximum number of households.”
Available through frequency 12417 on Nilesat and 12111 Arabsat, Zee Alwan reaches to the largest number of households in the MENA region. “Given the strong family appeal of Zee Alwan, we have taken great care and consideration in finalising our Ramadan programming. In addition to the most popular series, we are also bringing dramas that celebrate the values of solidarity and generosity associated with the Holy Month,” added Samaha.
Among the diverse portfolio of Ramadan programming this season include the biggest drama this year, ‘Al Arraf' starring renowned Egyptian comedian Adel Emam. The series follows the hilarious journey of the protagonist as he forges his identity to portray various roles including that of a famous doctor in Egypt, and an Ambassador with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among others.
Viewers can watch Ahmed's Makki comic tale, Al Kabeer, the first two seasons of which will be shown before Ramadan followed by an exclusive showcase of the third season across the Gulf during Ramadan.
The third season starts with Hazaloum who takes Jonny's room in the village since Jonny had travelled to the US to film ‘Titanic'. Jonny fails in his movie attempt and decides to return to the village and struggles with Hazaloum and seeks the help of his twin brother ‘Al Kabeer' to get rid of him. However, Hazaloum ends up leaving since his mother married a rich Saudi and asks him to join her.
Among the diverse portfolio of Ramadan programming this season include the continuing saga of the exclusive Hareem Al Sultan, much-loved by family audiences, with the bold tale of chivalry, palace intrigue, love and valour appealing to all generations.
Viewers can also stay tuned in the beginning of Ramadan to watch the second season of Asrar Al Banat, which will particularly appeal to youngsters theTurkish series unspools the glitzy tales of teenagers in Istanbul. Also new is the second season of the popular Indian series dubbed into Arabic, Malikat Jansi, which narrates the life and times of one of the most valiant women rulers.
There is a whole new array of new programming too including religious programmes before Iftar including the popular religious programme ‘Stories from the Holy Quran,' featuring Egyptian drama legends Yahya Al Fakharani, Mona Abdul Aziz, Dalia Al Buhairi, Sawsan Bader, and others.
For the entertainment lovers is the brand-new comedy series Kareena Kareena, story of a girl juggling dual roles with two jobs, on one hand she's pretending to be married in order to work in a company and on the other she poses as RJ at a radio station.
Other popular series that will air on Zee Alwan include Ribat Al Hob, story of Jana, a daughter with minimal education but tremendous responsibilities. Impeccable and determined, she is part of a family where everyone depends on her, but no one realises her true worth, except her mother and brother. Hindustani is another original regional Arabic language production shot in exotic locations around the world, and featuring music and humour.
Zee Alwan is one of the fast-growing Arabic channels that has defined its unique niche through its focus on bringing the best in dramas. All the programmes respect the sensitivities of Arab audiences, especially women. Zee Alwan also has several Arab female anchors to present the shows, provide recaps on earlier episodes, and present vignettes from upcoming episodes.